Is my appliance worth fixing?


People call and ask me this question at least once a week… Is my appliance worth fixing? Usually they want to know before we can come out and look at it, because obviously they do not want to pay for a technician to come out and tell them it is not worth fixing. That would be “wasted” money and nobody wants to waste money, right? The problem is that it can be very difficult to accurately diagnose over the phone. Sure if your cooktop is cracked, or your front load washer has a torn boot, I can tell you how much that costs before we come out. However, I have discovered that when I guess what is wrong over the phone, I am wrong 30% of the time. (I just made that number up, but it sounded good huh?). The point is that you might be willing to spend $200 to repair an appliance and I guess it will cost $250, you will throw your appliance away and buy a new one (or possibly a good used one from us). What if I guessed wrong? What if it only cost $150 to repair the appliance? You threw it away and bought another one based on false information. I did you a disservice by guessing, I led you to make a bad decision. Now lets look at the other side.. If you are willing to spend $250, and I guess it will cost $250 to fix it, you are happy to have us come out… until we take a closer look and discover that it cost $400 to fix it. I have done you a disservice, because I guessed the total cost to repair and you made a decision based on false information.

There are companies that will guess what is wrong with your appliance over the phone. People have told me that a call taker for a national service organization diagnosed with their washing machine when they called. I know for a fact, that most of these call takers have never run an appliance service call in their life and are getting information based on scripts and flow charts provided by the corporation. Guess what they told this person? The washing machine should not be fixed, they should come in and buy a new one.

So it is “wasted” money to have a technician come to the house? We have all heard the phrase “you get what you pay for”, and in this case I believe it to be absolutely true. If you want good information on which to base your repair-vs-replace decision, I believe you MUST have a trained professional evaluate your specific needs for your specific appliance. I have seen twenty year old Maytag washing machines that had a ton of life left in them thrown away because they needed a simple repair. I have seen five year old GE washing machines in which the repair cost exceeded the value of the machine when it was new by a factor of two. There are so many factors to take into consideration that I believe the money it costs to have a professional technician actually come to your home and use his eyes, ears, hands and tools to accurately diagnose the appliance is the best money you can spend.

Finally, we have all heard the phrase “They don’t make them like they used to”. In some situations, I believe this to be true, especially in the realm of top load washing machines. Top loaders have changed a lot over the last five years because of government mandated energy and water use requirements. My personal opinion is that it might be worth a little more to repair you old top loader if it has given you good service, because you cannot replace it with a similar new unit. The new machine is going to lock the lid and is going to use less water, which is great for energy requirements but might not be so good if you have really dirty clothes.

I know it sucks to take a risk and maybe have to pay to have something diagnosed that isn’t worth repairing. If you can’t afford the service charge, we can still help, bring it in to our shop and we can take a look at it for no charge. I have found that some folks would rather pay for the convenience of an in home service call and others would rather save money and haul their appliance in for service. Either way, we have you covered at Blue Streak Appliance. Thanks for reading!